Open Source Community Wins at Ingres Code Sprint

At the Ingres Code Sprint, the finish line is just the beginning in the race to create new product features. Ingres hosted the Ingres Code Sprint, a three-day event held in advance of the UK Ingres Users Association Annual Conference in London. Ingres Code Sprint brought together customers, partners, and Ingres engineers to design, code and create new features. As a result of the three-day marathon session, significant new features will be added to the Ingres product line.

The development work was carried out by two teams, one working on the Ingres database, and the other on Ingres OpenROAD, the company's platform for rapid application development. Ingres provided each group with a Linux based virtual machine that included everything needed to build and debug the community versions of the products. Experienced Ingres engineers were on hand to provide mentoring and assistance.

Some of the larger scale features that were implemented during Ingres Code Sprint include:
- Incremental Backup - in large scale environments, the window required to take a complete database backup can be significant. Now Ingres has added the ability to do a full backup on regular intervals with incremental backups in the interim.
- Row Level Security Auditing – Ingres already provides a way for security administrators to do table-level monitoring to account for all queries by authorised users for compliance purposes, as well as raising alarms on certain events. Row-level scrutiny of updates and deletes has also been possible. During Ingres Code Sprint, participants extended row-level security auditing to account for all queries down to the row level, including selects and inserts.
- Pseudo Random Order Sequences – Ingres now provides the ability to serve up values from a sequence in random order, and guarantees that no sequence values will be repeated. In the past, using a sequence value for a key would oftentimes result with contention on a database page at insert time. By providing unique values in random order, the possibility of contention is avoided.
- Terminal Monitor Usability – New users had reported difficulty in understanding how to use this tool, through which SQL statements can be executed either interactively or in batch model. Ingres has now addressed the usability issues that had been reported.
- Rename Columns – It is common practice in upgrading MySQL databases and applications to rename database columns during the upgrade process. As more applications are migrated from MySQL to Ingres, the need to support the ability to rename Ingres columns natively has become a necessity.
- Unload Utilities – Ingres has a number of utilities for unloading a database, or parts of a database, and reloading it to another location. One problem that global organisations identified was the need to be able to specify locale specific information when the data was being unloaded or reloaded. Locale specific information includes date formatting, currency symbols and formatting, and the character used for decimal separation. While updating the unload utilities, the Ingres Code Sprint team also added the ability to exclude items from the list of items being unloaded.
- Updated Version of Ingres CAFÉ - Ingres CAFÉ is a bundle to enable Eclipse developers to get started with Ingres in a couple of clicks, and includes a pre-integrated runtime environment for Eclipse applications. During Ingres Code Sprint, participants optimised the performance of the database under Ingres CAFÉ specifically for web based applications. In addition, the group updated the latest community version and the latest Eclipse build of Ingres CAFÉ.
- Workbench and Portlet Resizing in Ingres OpenROAD - Previously Ingres OpenROAD did not allow for the OpenROAD Workbench or the portlets within the development environment to be resized. This has now been addressed by the Ingres Code Sprint Team.
- Date Manipulation Functions – Nearly a dozen new functions were added to Ingres OpenROAD to enable application developers to manipulate dates.

The next Ingres Code Sprint is scheduled for the Ingres Community in the Australia/New Zealand region later this year.

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